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How Fran Pavley changed the American auto industry

fuel economyglobal warming
Eight years ago, Fran Pavley, an obscure California assemblywoman and former civics teacher, proposed something that no government had ever done before: a law to slash the amount of carbon dioxide spewing from auto tailpipes, a major source of climate change.

Thursday, after an epic struggle in which California and other states battled car manufacturers and the George W. Bush administration on global warming all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first nationwide regulations to control planet-heating greenhouse gases from vehicles took effect, modeled on Pavley’s law. “I’m very gratified,” said a beaming Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), now a state senator, who attended a news conference with environmentalists at Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. “This will reduce air pollution, reduce consumer costs at the pump... These new technologies pay for themselves in a very short time.”

The standards, negotiated by the Obama administration with the states, auto industry, Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department, will raise the fleetwide average fuel economy of new cars and trucks to 34.1 miles per gallon in 2016, an increase of 7.7 mpg from today, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26%. The 10-mpg rise from today’s standard could drive up the average price of vehicles by $926, but federal officials say that will be offset by savings of $3,000 in overall fuel costs.

Nationally, transportation accounts for 28% of the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say have begun to disrupt Earth’s climate. Only electricity generation produces more.

The rules mark the first time the federal government has curbed global warming emissions under the Clean Air Act. Environmentalists credited California’s pioneering fight--beginning with the 2002 enactment of Pavley's law to regulate such emissions from cars.

But Congress is considering new climate and energy legislation that could curb future state efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, as well as the EPA’s authority to do so under the Clean Air Act. “The clean car standards issued today show the extraordinary value of state leadership and EPA action under the current Clean Air Act,” said David Doniger, climate policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Current state and EPA authority should be preserved, not preempted, in any new law.”

Charles Drevna, president of the National Petroleum & Petrochemical and Refiners Assn., criticized the tailpipe rule as “harmful,” adding, that “EPA has acknowledged that regulation of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act will lead next year to the regulation of stationary-source emissions of greenhouse gases. Such misguided and flawed policy has the potential for devastating consequences to American consumers, businesses, jobs, and the economy.”

California has adopted the nation’s most sweeping climate legislation, requiring nearly every sector of the economy to contribute to slashing the state’s carbon footprint by 15% over the next decade. Emissions from power plants, factories and other industries would be capped, and firms could trade pollution permits to lower costs. Northeastern states are already operating a regional cap-and-trade program for utilities.

--Margot Roosevelt

Photo: State Sen. Fran Pavley. Her 2004 law curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks is a model for federal standards. Credit: Brian Vander Brug/L.A. Times

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I think the government should provide the infrastructure needed to distribute alternative fuels. This can be done by forcing them to lease pump space at the gas stations for alternative fuels. Up to 50% of pump space should be made available for alternative fuels, but not all can be used right now. As more people buy alternative fuel autos the number of pumps can be increased.

The distributors/producers of alternative fuels only have to pay for the pump space lease, the pumps, installation of, and delivery of alternative fuels to the station. This would set up the infrastructure needed for alternative fuels overnight. dealerships could offer the cars, auto manufacturers can build the cars, and yes the fuel would be available for end users and cheaper prices.

This idea came after Copenhagen and Globe 2010 and shouldn't be pirated by 'green' organizations to fill their pocketbooks. There were a lot of countries and organizations present and not one of them shouldn't expect people to donate to them for an idea they didn't come up with.

this idea was presented w/o costs by the staff of Tombstones Not Textbooks.

Google 'Anno Globus' and change the world.

jason trudeau

Lem Utu: Clearly, you've never met Fran. On the other hand, if you think Global Warming/Climate Change is a bunch of crap, you wouldn't "get" her anyway.

Fran and I were in the same master's program at CSUN, and she indeed has always rocked. Whenever she's in the news, it's guaranteed that she will make her former classmates proud.

Before the economic downturn, Californians naively approved the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) that mandates 2012 reductions of greenhouse gases through carbon taxes, alternative fuels and renewable replacements. All new climate laws increase the unit production costs and corresponding consumer prices of goods and services. A study by the Governor's Small Business Advocate reports that small businesses pay more than $134,000 each in annual California regulatory costs. Estimates are that the total cost of California regulations is about $493 billion annually – the equivalent of 3.8 million jobs. Environmental regulatory costs are a significant embedded cost in all of California’s products, services and enterprise.

California voters can stop climate laws like the California Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32), if State Assemblyman Dan Logue succeeds in collecting signatures for a November 2010 ballot initiative. Simply put, Logue’s initiative would block implementation of A.B. 32 until the state’s unemployment rate is reduced to below 5.5%. As a Central Valley Republican, Logue estimates that A.B. 32 could cost the state an additional 1million in job losses with its cap-and –trade system to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels.

What is clear in California, and globally, given recent climate frauds, is that partisan ideologies and cultish environmentalism have replaced prudent science and economic realities in climate policy. What is also clear is that environmentalism no longer offers any product or service in support of our future security and prosperity. Militant environmentalism and green-obsessed bureaucrats have become an “axis of antagonism” that we can no longer afford.

Since Global Warming is a bunch of crap, so much so that it had to be renamed Climate Change, singing songs to the misguided or mistaken Ms. Pavley seems just a little premature. "reduce air pollution and reduce consumers costs at the pump". Suuuure, that always happens when government adds regulations. Legal marijuana for everyone can't get here soon enough with politicians like these.

A good day for clean air. Fran Pavley rocks.


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